Thursday, August 20, 2009

Phil Lynott, A Birthday Tribute

It's always been hard trying to convince the non-believer that Phil Lynott was a poet on par with some of our greatest poets. So hard actually, that even now as I try to pay tribute to one of my favorite singer-songwriters and rock icons on what would have been his 60th birthday, I am struggling, fearing the flak from those who hear the name Thin Lizzy and can only recall "The Boys Are Back In Town." (a damn fine song, by the way)

Phil Lynott battled many demons on a day to day basis. Those demons, and the drugs and alcohol he used regularly to silence them, won the battle on January 4th, 1986, when Lynott's body finally gave up. But it was those very same demons that inspired some of the most heartbreaking cries for help in so many of Lynott's songs.

I wrote about one of those songs, "Dear Lord," HERE. In this song, Lynott is down on his knees, begging for mercy with one of my favorite lyrics:

Dear Lord take the time
I believe your story now you believe mine

5 years later, Lynott recognizes he is no longer the man he used to be in the song, "The Sun Goes Down." There is a quality to Lynott's voice that makes him sound as if he is constantly pleading, as if he could read something as simple as a grocery list out loud, and bring you to tears. His performance here, from 1983, is no different.

I doubt I have convinced anyone with this simple post to take the time and listen to something other than Thin Lizzy's hits. But I sure wish you'd try.

I miss Phil Lynott.

1 comment:

steve simels said...

His "Solo in SoHo" is one of those records I've never heard (to my shame) and keep meaning to get around to at some point.

My favorite Lizzy song? "Old Flame." Ineffably poignant, IMHO...